Weddings are rum old events. People seem to make them in to a big ‘thing’ when really it’s just people you like (and relatives) in a room getting drunk.
The planning for our bash appears to be going well. There have been no fights and the ‘wedding police’ haven’t been called out once.
Here are a list of things we’re not fretting about:
- The flowers, can anyone remember the flowers from a wedding ever?
- Seating arrangements, put people next to people you think they’d like.
- Readings, find something we like, get someone we like to read it.
- Wedding speeches, keep them short, put in jokes, no being nasty.
- Food, people are mostly there to get drunk.
- Booze, Our friends aren’t demanding ‘In a glass’ is about as fussy as they get.
This means when people ask, ‘How is the wedding planning going?’ I don’t have a good answer, which sounds like I don’t care.
However there are some things I am fretting about/have fretted about:
- Are my suit trousers too tight? Or too loose?
- When I first tried my suit trousers on did I take to long so the tailor (who was out of the room) think I was up to something naughty?
- What is the correct thing to say to the tailor when you’ve finished putting on your trousers?
- If the tailor isn’t responding to your calls, is it okay to shout?
- If you are mid-shout when they quietly enter the room from a door you didn’t see is it best to apologise? Or style it out and pretend you are a bit deaf suddenly?
- If you went with the deaf option, should you shout for the rest of the fitting to stay in character?
- Also if you bump into a friend in the street, right out side the shop, should you stay shouty to not spoil the ‘story’ you’re maintaining.
- Even if it’s quite a long chat and someone else turns up?
On an unrelated note I’m a bit scared to go back to the tailors for my final fitting. I wonder if I can get someone else to pick up the suit for me, after all I have lost my voice after all that shouting.
Wedding suits are a thing, as in a thing that people think about. Okay fret about. People fret about them because they are important clothes.
I asked chums for advice on where to get suits and picked out a place from a list they recommended. It was a cool looking place that had just started doing suits, they looked beautiful on their website and the shop had a nice name.
Suits you sir
It was my first experience of a suit fitting and I was impressed before I walked in the shop. For a start the suit place had a sword in the window, an actual sword. Just hanging out and being awesome.
There were also a few guns to play with (decommissioned guns, but guns all the same) and for posing with. The walls were lined with pictures of cool vintage dudes with moustaches doing vintage things like standing by horses. It was sort of like the house I shared with Biscuit but more grown-up and on a bigger budget (their swords weren’t plastic).
The men in the shop were terribly nice and we spent a lot of time talking about jackets, cloth and My Fair Lady. Then we discussed pockets and looked at little patches of cloth in funny books. I got really excited by some brightly coloured materials until they politely pointed out that they were linings and not for making suits out of. Drat.
After a bit of chat we went downstairs and I was measured for the suit. It was very discreet, the man left the room any time I had to put on the test trousers and the bit where they could touch your junk didn’t really happen. I mean there was some measuring there but it was over so fast and it didn’t get invasive.
Once they had all the numbers I got back into my boring clothes and we arranged another visit on Wednesday so the Theatre Producer could give her feedback on colours and stuff. I texted her for suggestions about if there was an official colour, she said, ‘pirates.’
It was only after I’d left that I realised there had been no mention of cost. Not even a hint. This is never a good sign. I checked the website. Still no prices. That was even worse.
The best things in life are free, apart from suits
It took a few Google searches before I found out the price range of the suits. They are pricey, not just expensive, but the sort of cost where reading it makes your knees go a bit wobbly. Even if I sold all the kidneys I have I still wouldn’t be able to cover the costs.
I can’t afford it. So now I have to think of an excuse as to why I can’t get a suit from those lovely chaps. I’ve only just met them but I don’t want to disappoint them because they are so cool. Here the best ones I have so far:
- The Theatre Producer has been lost at sea, so the wedding is off. I simply I won’t need the suit any more, but this may lead them to suggest a funeral suit.
- We’re having a naturist wedding. A nude one, not one with loads of trees.
- I was so inspired by their work I’ve decided to take up tailoring and make my own suit.
- My great-aunt has insisted that I use the family tailor, so I must. This only works as long as I leave before they can ask any questions.
- I have amnesia.
Other suggestions are welcome.
The talk last night went very well, and not just because we had bongos. There was a stellar line-up including brilliant original stuff from MyLoveLifeInYourHands, Joel Golby, Nell Frizzell and Craig Taylor. There was a lot of laughter and quite bit of pity, especially the latter for the stuff Biscuit and I performed.
If you missed the show you can catch up on what we performed here:
- Biscuit told this excellent story involving dwarf porn, lego and accidental winky texts
- I stuttered through the tragic story of a lovely lady I met at a film party, how I messed things up, and then made them even worse.
The bongos worked pretty well, although our bongoist Phil (who is a professional drummer that we met in the bar) got a bit distracted and didn’t quite bong as much as we would have liked. Still the rareness of the bongs made them all the more precious.
I also learned that when you own a set of bongos you can guarantee that you are the worst person on any form of public transport, FACT.
Someone having a loud conversation on a phone? BONGO Not any more. Smelling the carriage up with stinky food? BONGO They’ll get off an the next stop. I even had some scary looking dude cross the road to avoid me as I bongo my way home from the bus. RESULT.
I’ve had to hide the bongos from myself so I don’t get drunk on bongo power, it’s a constant danger.
So here’s a thing. We’re doing another blog reading. This one won’t be a fierce competition and hopefully Biscuit won’t decide to read a long story about periods, but we will be live, reading some stuff and you can come and laugh at our faces. In fact we’d like it if you did.
More importantly it’s being organised by the excellent Kit Lovelace of MyLoveLifeInYourHands fame (remember the dude we went to New York with) and will feature a load of other also excellent people reading funny things about relationships.
Not sold yet?
This will also be a rare chance to see proof that Biscuit isn’t dead and if you felt the need to heckle him about not writing more posts, well I wouldn’t have a problem with that*
If that’s not enough to tempt you there will be bongo action, a selection of hats and at least a couple of jokes that were considered too rude for Radio 4.**
If you say you like the blog we may even buy you a drink.
*Please do this after the show, heckling during a performance is an awful habit.
I’ve just had an amazing idea for a dot-com. It’s so good I’m going to put it on this secret blog in the hopes that a bored multi-millionaire spots it and emails me to buy the idea. That happens right?
Here is the problem: You never know what someone is like before you date them.
Solution: A website where people are reviewed by ex-girlfriends and boyfriends so you can find out what they are like before you agree to meet them for coffee. Sort of like Trip Advisor but with people.
Just think about it, knowing the sort of reviews someone had got from previous dates would allow you to skip a whole category of berks. It would be like trying to find the perfect hotel, but with people ‘I’m looking for someone who has at least three stars on empathy with access to a pool’ or, ‘Good value for money, better than I expected and very clean.’
It would be brilliant, or at least better than Klout (which is officially the worst thing ever but people still talk about it).
The only real problem I can see with it is that by asking previous dates to rate them you’d probably get a lot of negative scores. (NEVER CALLED ME BACK -5 points). Oh well that’s a thing for someone else to solve, I’m just an ideas guy.
I’m not dead or anything, it’s just there isn’t a lot of wedding news at the moment. We went to the local council offices to get our licences. Apparently you have to give the locals at least two weeks to object to you getting married before you can do it.
As part of this form you have to answer questions about each other and list the jobs of your dads. I found this quite exciting as I got to define my dad as ‘inventor’ after my sister rather boringly put ‘farmer’ on her marriage form thing. He was totes more of an inventor than a farmer.
Anyway we have the forms and they have been sent off to the place where we are getting married so they know we are allowed to do it. Phew.
Our ceremony is not going to be in a church and since we’ve gone down that route we’ve found out we aren’t allowed any religion in the vows or the readings. Not even a bit.
This means my ideal vow (By Grabthars Hammer) is out of the window, but on the plus side we aren’t allowed to play Angels by Robbie Williams.
We weren’t going to play it anyway but it’s nice to know it’s actually forbidden. If we can just get the rest of the UK to adopt this policy the country will be a better place.
Previously I had thought I was super easy going and didn’t care about anything about you, know, winning the bet. *ahem* I mean marrying my darling fiancée, but it turns out I’m quite picky.
We’ve looked at a lot of wedding venues now. Whole weekends have been spent stomping around country homes, museums and even slightly rubbish castles while a salesperson talks to you about seat cover options or maximum capacity numbers. That bit isn’t fun, but it’s over now because we’ve got a venue booked in and a date.
Here is what I have learned
- It is expensive, I’ve had to force myself to not think of the wedding in terms of motorcycles we could have bought because it breaks my heart.
- Things I don’t want: A bland function room, feeling like I’m in someone else’s house, a tiny dance floor.
- Things TP doesn’t want: A tent, seat covers, me to dress as a spider.
- There is a fun bit later on where you have an evening of ‘testing food’ for the ceremony. I can’t wait for that.
- Putting a deposit down on a venue makes this feel even more real than buying a ring. It’s really happening.
- Some people book their weddings three years in advance. THREE YEARS! We could be ruled by robots by then.
- Or sharks.
- You can hire ice-cream bikes, jugglers and even choirs but even if you’re thinking of using a military museum for your wedding they won’t let you play on the tanks or hold a musket.
- Don’t even bother asking about having an axe fight on the day.
- It’s very hard to resist doing a stupid theme, not that stupid themes are out it’s just there about three dozen we want to try.
- Choosing who to invite is hard, especially with couples because that instantly doubles the number.
- Also while working on the list you get strange urges to invite people just because they gave you extra chips or let your cross at the traffic lights. At the current rate we are likely to have a table just of people who have served me nice coffee.
- Deciding that you’re not going to invite members of your extended family because they are awful is lovely. I can’t recommend it enough.
- All brides have spreadsheets of information on venues and they trade them.
- Apparently the system is you get a rough list together, then venue hunt and then choose a date. Then you do nothing for a while until it gets closer to the time.
- We’re sort of at that bit now.
So I’m engaged now. I went to Paris and I proposed the SHIT OUT OF The Theatre Producer.
Here is what happened.
We were staying in a ridiculous hotel in Paris. Think a stately home plonked in the middle of the 16th (The posh bit of Paris).
TP had booked the room so that in included a ‘free upgrade’ which resulted in us having a ‘junior suite’ that was larger than our flat. I’ve not stayed in that many rooms with conservatories before but I am now a fan.
We dropped off our bags and went on a walking tour of Paris. It was a beautiful day, really sunny and we set off along the streets doing a long lap of the sights. I was a little quiet during this period because I was thinking about stuff.
Not regrets or anything just considering the enormity of what I was about to do. This would be the point when what started as a silly bet crossed into being an incredibly serious thing with legal implications. It’s a lot to take in. I was glad I had time to process it a bit rather than being on the end of a question.
The set up
When we got back to the hotel room we were both really tired (we’d walked miles) BUT I had a plan. So I suggested we have a quick drink in the gardens before retiring for a nap. Well demanded it.
TP wasn’t exactly pro this idea, okay lets be honest, she thought I’d gone insane and demanded to know why I was being so cruel to her by forcing her to put on a nice dress and some lipstick.
We went down stairs to the garden (with a bit of grumbling from TP about how tired she was) and I asked TP to pick a nice spot for a photo.
She wanted to just sit down but I was insistent that we had a seat with ‘good framing’. Again she’d thought I’d gone mad which wasn’t helped by the fact I had my bag with me for no real reason (real reason: holding a ring).
Once we were sat down I went off to buy some wine. I ordered two glasses of champagne and explained in pigeon-French how I was about to propose and how I’d like the waiter to take lots of photos.
The teenage waiter was so surprised when I started mentioning le proposal pour la marriage that he made the champagne he was opening explode everywhere and had to clean it up.
While he was cleaning that up I had time to quickly phone TP’s dad to ask permission. I got through to him and was so excited by me calling that he just wanted to have a lovely chat about PPI and India. I had to fight to speak and get the request in. He approved and I dashed back to the bar to pick up the waiter.
We sat down and clinked our glasses for the camera but it didn’t work.
TP said ‘Oh never mind we can do it some other time, to which I replied, ’NO WE MUST HAVE PHOTOS’.
She thought I’d properly gone mad now. She fixed the camera and dutifully posed for the photos. The waiter carried on taking pictures and TP only got a little suspicious.
Then I started the talk. I had been toying with the idea of doing a silly proposal but a friend had said that was a bad idea. So I instead I said how happy TP makes me and how much I like her, stuff like that. She looked at me very strangely and thought I’d caught too much sun.
Then I popped on one knee and pulled out the ring. POW. Only then did she realise what was going on.
She said ‘yes, of course’ and did a little cry, sort of ignoring the ring I had held out until I prompted her to open the box.
Then we drank more champagne and she looked at the ring a lot. We also texted a picture to Biscuit of the ring and called him a loser.
She then said,’Well now we’ve got to plan a wedding’
And I said, ‘Oh blimes, I hadn’t thought of that’.
Proposal success rating 100%
Forethought of what this means (apart from a life together being happy): 0%.
Well we’re off to Paris tomorrow. I still didn’t have a ring, but it felt like a waste of a trip to a stupidly nice hotel in Paris (accommodation upgraded by an unexpected tax rebate) to not propose then.
So I contacted the art dealer for other suggestions and we concocted the plan of a ‘place holder ring’.
This is a ring that you buy so there is something to put on the finger when the question is popped and then you can have the ‘delight’ of picking the actual engagement ring together.
This has pros and cons
- Since it’s only a stand-in ring you don’t have to fret about it as much.
- It doesn’t have to be stupidly expensive (in theory)
- It means I can ask the question this weekend
- I’m not buying one ring, I’m buying two now. Diamonds are not cheap.
- It means during the proposal I have to explain what this ring is about ‘It’s a stand-in’ isn’t very romantic. I need to come up with a better name.
So with this in mind I tramped across town (again) to near the diamond district to look at rings. This time with someone else who the art dealer said would be more in the price range of people who don’t own countries or haven’t invented Facebook.
The invitation only studio was super cool. It had a swing in it (yeah an actual swing) and leather backed chairs and cool art. I would have liked to have hung around for a bit longer but I was a man with a mission. Actually would have liked to live there.
Hot ring chat
I sat down and talked about the pre-ring ring to the lady. She completely understood it and apparently it’s actually quite common these days. It’s nice to know there are other chaps out there fretting over if they have the right sort of gem/setting/metal.
We looked at the sort of rings my chum recommended and there was one that I could just about afford (Who needs food really) so I got that.
It’s very pretty in silver with a small diamond in it. Not too shabby really. It came with a pouch but luckily the sales lady had one of those black boxes that rings go in (just a slightly over large one) so now I’m set. You can’t propose from a pouch, you’ve got to have a box. Everyone knows that.
We get the train to Paris super early in the morning tomorrow. I’ve got the ring. I’m set.
I just need to work out what I’m going to say.
Marriage percentage: 100%
I finally met up with the art dealer’s friend who is a diamond dealer. It was in a tiny little office tucked away above a shop in London’s diamond district.
He gave me sparkling water and then talked to me about diamonds. I showed him the picture of a ring I’d had recommended by a friend.
We talked for a long time while I sipped my bubbly water. He talked about diamond clarities, cuts, the benefits of different materials over time and trends. It was a 15 minute talk about everything you need to know about diamonds.
Then he started talking about the ring making process, consultation and all that. Apparently it would take weeks. That doesn’t work for me because we’re going to Paris in a few days.
He almost flinched when I suggested I’d probably need something faster and nearly vomited when I talked about my budget (his suggested range was more half a year’s pay).
It was a bit awkward. Then he said he’d help pick a good one from an antique shop and we tried to work out The Theatre Producer’s size of finger.
Sub note: When you start going out with a girl her shoe size, ring size and dress size should ‘unlock’ on her Facebook page so you have the information to hand when buying gifts.
I’d managed to work out that my little finger was roughly the same size as The Theatre Producer’s ringer finger so we used that as a guide (even though that’s basically nonsense).
I was in the tiny office, sat in a chair while this diamond dealer put a range of hoops on my little finger. The room was completely silent apart from when he’d mutter something like, ‘let’s try half a size up’.
It felt weird, and sort of like cheating.
Afterwards I went back to the office with no idea what I was going to for rings, and amazed that anyone could afford to get married, ever.
Stress percentage: 60%